These are the books our books editor, MENEESHA GOVENDER, received recently. They may be reviewed later


Rogue: The Inside Story of Sars’s Elite Crime-busting Unit

by Johann van Loggerenberg with Adrian Lackay (Jonathan Ball)

It all began with a series of reports published in the Sunday Times of illegal spook operations within the SA Revenue Service.

Reports claim a “rogue unit” spied on President Zuma, ran a brothel and carried out illegal tax settlements.

The story of the Sars “rogue unit” has been playing out in the public domain for a while now. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan infamously refused to appear before the NPA to answer questions pertaining to it. Allegations and counter allegations abound.

The result of the claims led to the head of the crime-busting unit, Johann van Loggerenberg, and almost the entire top management being forced to quit Sars. Van Loggerenberg and his team did not just lose their careers, they were also left with tarnished reputations.

In this book, this team want to set the record straight. According to them there is no rogue unit and the public has been deceived apparently by powers conspiring to take over Sars for their own ends.

Van Loggerenberg tells his story and shares details of the unit’s investigations.


Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard: Life Among the Stowaways

by Sean Christie (Jonathan Ball)

This story begins in the port city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in the late 1970s. As the rural economy collapses, more and more people end up in the cities seeking employment that is few and far between.

Many youngsters of the time live in slums in the city, earning a living selling cigarettes and peanuts. It’s not a life they dreamed of. Some find a way to sneak aboard merchant ships that dock in Dar es Salaam. These ships take them to countries in Europe first and later south to countries like our own.

In Dar es Salaam these men are known as the Beachboys.

Journalist Sean Christie meets Adam Bashili, who lives among a community of men beneath the Nelson Mandela Boulevard on Cape Town’s foreshore.

Through Bashili, Christie gets to know of the world of the Beachboys – men who have stowed away to survive and live to stow away. Christie becomes moneylender, driver, scribe and confidant to these Beachboys and eventually accompanies Bashili on a tour of Dar es Salaam’s underworld.

Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard offers the reader a look into places and people we’re more prone to overlooking. It promises to be a fascinating read.


The Couple Next Door

by Shari Lapena (Bantam Press)

Anne and her husband, Marco, are invited to a dinner party at their neighbours. But their host, Cynthia, makes it clear their 6-month-old daughter is not invited.

When the babysitter cancels at the last minute, Marco insists it will be fine to leave the baby asleep at home while they have dinner with the baby monitor in hand and them checking in on her every half-hour.

But things go horribly wrong when they return to their apartment to find the front door ajar and their baby missing.

As police traipse through her home searching for clues to where the baby could be and what happened to her, Anne’s world spins out of control. What will she do when she is pushed beyond the limit?